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The Ancient Greeks Weren’t Freaks After All!

July 10th, 2005

Looking for something new in your mealtime exploits for the summer time? We know you want to be healthy and all, but to tell the truth, if you’re not eating foods that are full of flavor along with the healthy touch, you’re not living.

One of your most important senses is taste. Living healthy doesn’t mean you need to live without that sensation. If anything, it should only help you to embrace it more.

And nobody, well, maybe the Romans, but nobody REALLY embraced things like the Greeks did. Although their domination in determining popular culture has had its day, the legacy of overwhelming the taste buds still remains.

For my cash, the best spot for Greek treats this side of Athens is tucked away on Pico and Normandie in Los Angeles, California -Papa Cristo’s Greek Restaurant. As the summer time heats up, you’re going to need food that gives you energy but doesn’t weigh you down.

You need your Papa, people.

For those of you who are on the Chicken Breast kick, there are plenty of healthy options that don’t leave your mouth feeling as if it were chewing a ball of cotton. Waiting for you in your Greek getaway are Chicken Gyros, which are wrapped in a warm, soft pita like bread that will hold the herbs in the chicken and the cool taste of the cucumber laden Tzatziki sauce perfectly.

If you are on the carbless path, Kabobs of the same chicken are offered, with grilled onions and peppers. Either can be ordered as a sandwich or as part of a dinner plate. All plates are served with perfectly seasoned potatoes and a small salad with Feta Cheese. It’s a perfect lunch time snack, as it gives you the energy to get through the rest of your day without feeling your belly hanging down.

If you are more of a meat eater, the Kefka Kabob is made from lean ground beef that rivals any Italian Meatball - perhaps they are just cousins, separated only by taste. If you are in need of a little Lamb, I’m sure Mary wouldn’t find out if you took a little nibble out of her marinated young friend.

I would say Greek food is the lightest and healthiest of all the Mediterranean cuisine.

Most dishes and salads are served with fresh Greek Feta Cheese. Olives are available free of charge, which can be dangerous if you’re sitting for a long time. Look for your skin to have a little extra shine on it the next day.

If your meat tastes are a bit higher class, there is a filet mignon that is cooked exactly at the right temperature to seep into your mouth and leave behind an aftertaste of juicy spices and delights. Greek food is just as stimulating as Italian, only it seems to leave you ready to do more.

It is the perfect date or business meeting place, and if you are of the vegetarian persuasion, there are plenty of delights including falafel, Grilled Eggplant, and the most astounding: Saganaki - sizzling cheese with lemon. Have a pita or two and you’ll be flying.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is filled with art deco light blues and colorful European flare, extending from the wonderful pictures on the wall to the full service stores and bakery + goodie section in the front, complete with meats as well as treats. Hey, it’s Greek (don’t break your plates, please). A full selection of wines and other intoxicating refreshments are all available.

Aside from the rack of lamb, everything on the menu is under ten dollars. The experience of just sitting down there is worth more than that.

They have their own parking lot, which is always bumping because everyone who knows the underground spots for great grub in the city of Angels knows this is the JOINT!

Next time you’re in Los Angeles, stop in and have yourself a Big Fat Greek good time without the big and fat part hanging around. Enough of this. I’m heading back to scoop up some Spinach and Feta Pies and Soulvaki Skewers to go. Perhaps, if there’s room, some Backlava for a late night fridge buster!

Happy eating! Stay Greek!

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